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The Week Unwrapped: wheels or doors, Russian losses and speaking pig

What makes a social media post go viral? What does the war in Ukraine mean for pensions? And can an algorithm understand a pig’s emotions?

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters.

You can subscribe to The Week Unwrapped wherever you get your podcasts

In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Wheels or doors?

Two weeks ago, New Zealander Ryan Nixon created a social media poll for his 1,500 followers. The question he asked was simple: are there more wheels or doors in the world? The post exploded, receiving more than 223,000 responses so far and sparking a global debate over the conundrum. So what makes a post like Nixon’s go viral? And can The Week finally settle the wheel vs. doors dispute?

Russian losses

BlackRock has announced that it has racked up $17bn in losses on its Russian investments after marking down their value following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. The biggest fund manager in the world manages a host of pension funds, but many people were unaware of their exposure to the impact of Vladimir Putin’s war. So should we be more interested in where pensions are invested?

Speaking pig

Researchers in Europe have created an algorithm that assesses pigs’ emotional states based on the sound the animals make. The hope is that by allowing farmers to understand their pigs grunts, the algorithm could help them improve animal welfare standards. So could the ability to be a real life Dr Dolittle revolutionise farming? 

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